Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Tiramisu with Beignets & Chocolate Ganache

Beignet Ingredients:
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3-4 cups bread flour
canola oil, for deep-frying
powdered sugar, for sprinkling

Tiramisu Ingredients:
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons kahlua
1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups strong brewed coffee
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Ganache Ingredients:
4 1/2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup canned coconut milk or heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
coconut or regular whipped cream

1. To make the Beignets, mix the yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit for 10 minutes and allow the yeast to proof, it will foam up. Once the yeast is ready add the eggs, salt, heavy cream and melted butter.

2. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and mix on medium until combined. Continue adding the remaining 1/2 cup of flour slowly until it’s all incorporated. Dough will be sticky. At this point begin adding a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a smooth ball (about 4-6 minutes). If you don’t have a mixer or would rather knead the dough with you hands, place the dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth, adding a little more flour as needed (about 8-10 minutes). The dough may still be a bit sticky, but shouldn’t be overly so.

3. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and place the dough inside, cover with some plastic wrap on top. Let rise for 2 hours in a warm spot.

4. When the dough is ready place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a square or rectangle. Roll to 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter, knife or pastry cutter to cut into approximately 3×3 inch squares (about 25 squares & there's no magic to this - if you don't have perfect squares it's quite all right).

5. Place a deep, heavy bottom pot on the stove and add enough oil to fill the pot about 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep. Turn the burner to medium and preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.

6. Once the oil is ready, fry 3 - 6 at time depending on the size of your pot. Use a slotted spoon to flip them over every 30 seconds. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. If they are taking longer than 3 minutes to brown you need to turn your burner up and make sure your oil is at the correct temperature. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining squares. Dust the warm beignets with powdered sugar on both sides.

7. To assemble the tiramisu: combine the mascarpone, powdered sugar, kahlua and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

8. Add the heavy cream to a separate bowl and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, set aside.

9. To make the ganache: in a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate and coconut milk (or heavy cream). Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Once melted stir in the vanilla extract.

10. Add the coffee to a shallow bowl and dip about 18-20 of the beignets in the coffee, submerging them completely and then allow any excess coffee to drip back into the bowl. Chop the beignets into bite size squares.  You can also chop the beignets before hand and then dip, but be sure to drip off the excess coffee.  I often make the beignets a day or two ahead of time.

11. To assemble add a layer of coffee dipped beignets to the bottom of your serving glasses. Spread a layer of the mascarpone over the beignets and then a layer of the ganache. Sprinkle on the chopped chocolate. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients have been used.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.  I usually have left-overs of everything which I then layer into a tupperware container and freeze for a rainy day.

12. Garnish each individual tiramisu with a dollop of coconut (or regular) whipped cream and a beignet.